[Readers Request] Kino’s Journey (2003) – Episode 2
Wow, what an interesting episode! For episode two of Kino’s Journey, there’s encouragement to start pondering something even from the title card. The episode is called “A Tale of Feeding Off Others’ and that already left a strong impression. It made me really curious as to what the episode would be about exactly and put me in a sort of aware and open-minded mood to just accept what would be shown to me.
The first different thing is the weather. It’s snowing very heavily and apparently it’s towards the end of winter. Kino is hunting in order to help a group of travelers she ran into earlier. Three emaciated men who got stuck in a snowstorm and haven’t been able to get back on their feet and ran out of food after a while.
The conversation between Kino and Hermes are thought-provoking once again. Kino mentions that if she can’t keep the men alive she will have a responsibility to the rabbit for killing it. It seems she is very merciful and although Kino later on admits she knows that what she consumes is also a product of a sacrifice for other creatures and she has reconciled the idea of hunting for herself, but she’s torn about her feelings regarding her involvement of a sacrifice for someone other than her.
Kino muses that if she hadn’t helped them, then the rabbit probably wouldn’t have died. She still chooses to help because she would want someone to help her if she were in the men’s situation. Hermes wonders if it has to do with her feeling compelled by the fact that they’re fellow humans, but that isn’t the case. I thought this was really interesting because I showed that even charity has some selfish feeling behind, regardless of how well-intentioned it is.
Three days pass in this routine of Kino hunting and killing a rabbit and preparing it for the men. As they regain strength, they talk about their plans when they go back to their country and invite Kino to visit some time. They also offer a gift to Kino at some point as a token of thanks, a ring that doesn’t seem to suit Kino’s demeanor very much.
More time passes and soon we see the three men, Hermes and Kino trying to dig out the truck. They work as a group and go at it until they’re able to ride it out. The men call Kino towards the back to help them with something and the mood turns kind of tense as the actions seem suspicious.
True enough, it turns the men are slave traders and now they want to take Kino and sell her off to someone. As she’s young, healthy and skilled they think she’ll fetch a high price. Kino is instructed to get rid of her weapons, but as she’s doing that, she’s able to get the upper hand in the face off and fight the men off, killing all of them in the process.
In the end Kino inspects the back of the truck and realizes that the food the men ate was the slaves they were planning to trade. She gives back the ring as she doesn’t feel her side of the bargain was completed and then she leaves. Hermes asks her if she would still do the same if she found herself in this situation again and she replies that humans are like this.
It’s quite a bold statement and the episode does a good job of trying to get you to think about reasons why you may do things and in the case of this kind of help, if the person turns out to be evil or they end up betraying your kindness and trust, what should you make of it. I don’t think it’s trying to teach you what you should choose, that’s something that would be left up to the individual, but it sure makes you think about these kind of situations.
Definitely looking forward to what kind of dilemma the show will pose next.